I had to interrupt the scheduled posts to post the things I love the most about my little ones.  I pen these mostly for myself and for Matt…and for our children…to remember who they were at all times in our lives together, but this time, also for those of you who are reading. I hope it gives you a glimpse of what they’re like at home, of what we love most about them.  🙂
Ava, my sweet girl, you’ve just celebrated your first birthday, and there are so many things I love about you….
that you waddle when you run through the house, squealing the whole time.  That you follow every footstep your brother makes….how assuring and scary all at the same time.
that you’ve finally warmed up to the rest of our family besides your daddy and me.  It’s really nice to pass you off to someone else every now and then. 🙂
That you’ve become such a daddy’s girl, looking to him for attention constantly.  I can see the relationship you guys are forming, and I’m so proud you will have a man of God like him to look to for wisdom and encouragement.  And sometimes when I think you might not be into mommy anymore,
you’ll crawl into my lap and just sit.  I love that you are my little cuddle-bug….that you’ll go grab a book off the shelf and back yourself into my lap to read…how sweet are you!
That, just like your brother, you can be totally mischevious
photo by Lauren Cochran Photography
and angelic at the same time.  I do love your sense of adventure and how into life you are already.  You are completely joyful to watch…quite the ham!  Just so I don’t forget these milestones…you began walking at ten and 1/2 months (just like Grayson) and you are talking so much!  Your words for now….mama, dada, ball, “der he ihh” (there she is), “Be-a” (Bella), and lots of other shortened versions of the words, “down, more, milk, brother, Nana,” but your favorite has to be “baby.”  It’s so much fun to do the girly stuff with you, like brush your hair and plan your first birthday party…I can’t wait for all the fun and memories we’ll make!
On to you, my little boy,
I think we have a connection, you and I.  I think I understand you the way no one but your Creator does.  I think sometimes you’re little boy-ness can be mistaken for wildness, for misbehavior (not that you don’t plenty!), but I want you to know, I see you. 
I see your sweet spirit, your thoughtfulness.  I see you put away your dishes and say, “May I” and “please and thank you”…and my favorite, “Mommy, I appreciate you so much…you cleaned the kitchen and I’m SO proud of you!” 
And I want you to know…that while instructing you and trying to shepard your heart can be a bit exhausting, I am proud of you right now…not what you will be one day.  Although, I can’t wait until you understand why we don’t run through the house screaming or wait until prayer time during worship to talk really loudly.  🙂
My favorite thing about you is probably your imagination (and don’t worry, I won’t break these pictures out when you find your future wife…at least not right at first).  You can play by yourself for hours every morning, knights storming your castle or pirates riding on the ship (which is the carpet in the playroom), and riding the bus to school (sitting in your daddy’s movie chairs).  It’s amazing to watch your little mind work and to hear the stories you come up with. 
You love to read so very much; we’re really enjoying the library right now.  You asked me a few weeks ago about reading a book on volcanoes, and I loaded us up to go find one.  You can now tell me all about Mount Vesuvius and Mount St. Helens.  You also know the difference between lava and magma, which sort of blows my mind.
Like your friend, “Big John”, says, you seem very sure of yourself, of who you are.  You don’t really do things other kids are doing “just because.”  That can be really hard (like when you could care less about singing at VBS), but I pray that you are shaped into a leader, that you are not swayed easily to do the norm, and that you have the faith to step out and do hard and exciting things.
I also pray that you are not the ladies man that these pictures suggest. 🙂  You were quite the ham and, actually, the little gentlemen at Eden’s wedding…a very proud moment for me.  🙂
I love you two, sweet babies!  I’m thrilled to be home with you and am finding myself having to rely on God daily for the grace to handle you both in gentle and thoughtful ways.
Can’t wait to see how much you grow up in these next few months!

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